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Heroes, Villains, or Something In Between? How “Right to Work” Policies Affect Teachers, Students, and Education Policymaking

Although the Janus v. AFCSME (2018) decision fundamentally changed the institutional context for U.S. teachers’ unions by placing all public school teachers in a “Right to Work” (RTW) framework, little research exists to conceptualize the effects of such policies that hinder unionization. To fill this gap, I exploit the different timing across states in the passage of RTW policies in a differences-in-differences framework to identify how exposure to a RTW policy affects students, teachers, and education policymaking. I find that RTW policies lead to declines in teachers’ union power, but contrary to what many union critics have argued, I find that efforts to weaken unions did not result in political opportunities for education reforms nor did they improve student achievement outcomes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/0p17-gc57

This EdWorkingPaper is published in:

Lyon, M.A. (2021). Heroes, Villains, or Something In Between? How “Right to Work” Policies Affect Teachers, Students, and Education Policymaking. Economics of Education Review, 82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102105

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Lyon, Melissa Arnold . (). Heroes, Villains, or Something In Between? How “Right to Work” Policies Affect Teachers, Students, and Education Policymaking. (EdWorkingPaper: -358). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/0p17-gc57

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